By Croatian Cultural Association of Geelong
The Croatian Cultural Association CAS (CCA) was established in 2004 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, with a vision to honour Croatian culture by preserving its heritage, traditions and language within the wider Croatian and Australian communities.
The Association was created to pay homepage to our mothers and grandmothers who locally and abroad, continued to teach, nurture and preserve Croatian language, cuisine and traditions.
The Croatian Cultural Association wishes to continue to preserve its Croatian heritage by hosting cooking classes and other significant cultural presentations in the hope of engaging younger generations in joining the Association and passing on the baton to future generations.
After 5 years of cooking classes and multiple cuisine festivals the Association embarked on its most adventurous of projects, to gather an collate all recipes donated by the community in an endeavour to produce a community cookbook.
This was an enormous undertaking which was 10 years in the making. With the involvement of countless volunteers and committee members, CCA’s first cookbook ‘Kuhinja Moje Majke’ (My Mothers Kitchen) was launched in 2019.
With great pleasure and abundant pride the first launch of ‘My Mothers Kitchen’ took place at Deakin Sports Club, Canberra, followed by a presentation of the book at the ‘Windows to the World’ festival in the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia.
Hosting cooking classes, cuisine festivals, fashion parades, gala evenings and the sale of ‘My Mothers Kitchen’ has raised valuable funding to enable the Association to proudly support local and overseas charities, sporting clubs, educational and language programs and humanitarian appeals.
On Thursday 15th June 2023 another successful cooking presentation was held at the Croatian Community Centre Geelong.
The agenda for the evening included a tutorial in homemade sausages presented by Mr Mijo Pavlic and Mr Ivan Kolar and ‘Hercegovačke Uštipke’ ( Flat cakes from Hercegovina) which were presented by Mrs Ljubica Akmačić.
Prior to the cooking class in the true Croatian spirit of generosity our committee was invited to Mr Pavlic’s home to participate in a family and friends sausage making working bee.
This tradition of families, friend and neighbours helping each other in preparing and making smallgoods, jam, wine making and even Rakija distilling goes back generations.
Usually these large tasks of producing a years supply of produce in one sitting can be overwhelming for some families particularly if they are small in number, so the practice of whole communities coming together to help each other was established. Some of our most endearing childhood memories are of those exact gatherings, but sadly, modern day lifestyles have seen a decline in these age old traditions.
Our evening of making sausages and flatbreads drew quite a large and diverse crowd. With guests and members from varied ages and cultures we were well informed and entertained by Mr Pavlic, Mr Kolar and Mrs Akmačić. It was especially exciting to see our presenters exercise their unique skills in the preparations of their chosen repertoire of food.
On the evening each attendee was given a booklet containing recipes and step by step instructions. Following the presentations our committee served a tasting plate of food, which was cooked prior to the demonstrations by our guest presenters.
On behalf of the Association, we wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Mijo Pavlić, Mr Ivan Kolar and Mrs. Ljubica Akmačić for donating their time and resources before and on the evening of our event. We feel very privileged to have such generous members of our community coming forward to continue in showcasing Croatian culture and traditions.
We also extend our thanks to our committee members and volunteers for their unwavering support both on the evening and in past events.
Finally, a huge thank you to the Croatian Community Centre of Geelong for their continued support and use of their facilities.